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Old Mar 25, 2009, 2:03 PM   #1
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Hi,

I am a new DSLR user. Bought a new a300 and during low light auto focusing, it fires the flash.

I know it uses flash as AF illuminator, however while camera tries focusing in low light, it does not just fire flash instantly, and it seems like it is keeping the flash on a little bit more than regular which causes a sizzle sound like an electrical short-circuit sizzling.

Is it a normal thing?

Thanks

(I guess it tries to do its job and just it is weird for me because I am not familiar it, but I wanted to ask anyway.)


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Old Mar 25, 2009, 2:59 PM   #2
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I've got a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, which uses a similar flash system (flash is used for AF illumunation in low light), and I found it to be a bit annoying (not only to me, but to those i'm taking photos of). That's one of the first things I turned off in the camera's menus. So, you may want to try it without the flash being used for AF and see how well it can focus in the conditions you are shooting in.

My Sony A700 has a separate AF assist beam built into the camera body. But, the A200, A300, and A350 use the built in flash for AF assist unless you disable it in the menus. Note that that if you use a compatible external flash (Sony HVL-F36AM, HVL-F42AM, HVL-F56AM, HVL-F58AM), you'll have a separate AF assist beam built in the flash unit. That way, your subjects won't be as annoyed as they would using a flash for AF assist. Again, you may want to try it with AF assist turned off and see how well it works in the lighting you're shooting in. That's the way I use my Maxxum 5D.
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 6:14 PM   #3
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Turkuaz wrote:
Quote:
...I know it uses flash as AF illuminator, however while camera tries focusing in low light, it does not just fire flash instantly, and it seems like it is keeping the flash on a little bit more than regular which causes a sizzle sound like an electrical short-circuit sizzling.

Is it a normal thing?
It is a normal thing but at the same time, it's the most annoying thing not just for the photographer but also for those whose pictures are being taken. Many camera brands use the flash as an AF assist light (Canon, Pentax, Olympus,...). I have the A200 and the very first thing I did was to turn off AF assist. Unless you are under real dim light, the A200 will manage to lock focus w/o the flash light.
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 10:20 PM   #4
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Besides disabling AF illuminator from the menu, you can try to change the mode when shooting in the dark. The AF illuminator won't work in following modes: No-flash, Sports Program, Landscape, or Sunset modes. And in following modes unless you pop up the flash manually: P, A, S, or M modes.
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 11:40 PM   #5
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Thanks..

Good to know that it is not a mechanical problem, however I disappointed because of the lack of red light AF illuminator. I did not realized before buying the camera.

But It is still great camera for me and this is the only major con for me.

If anybody thinks there is a better option than some other default settings of the A300, I would like to know and try it.

Thanks again...
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Old Mar 26, 2009, 4:35 AM   #6
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Besides using an external flash as JimC mentioned earlier, or changing shooting modes, you can try manual focus.
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